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Don’t get clowned

Barcelona Cathedral clown poses with unknowing tourist.

The Cathedral of Barcelona attracts thousands of tourists each day for its amazing architecture, historical value, and, of course, photos. When visiting this attraction, tourists can’t help but take the perfect Instagram-worthy photo in front of it. Europe is known for its immaculate churches with impeccable design, but what many do not know are the con artists that roam the Cathedral, perusing for their next unknowing victim. Knowing this, the “Cathedral Clowns” take advantage of this opportunity to scam naive visitors for money. 

Cathedral Clown throws up a "peace sign" at camera.
Cathedral Clown begs tourist for money.

These clowns are best identified by their white-painted faces, all-white attire, and decorative headpieces like a hat or flower crown. These ghastly figures carry balloons around as part of their gimmick to deceive unknowing victims into taking photos with them or conveniently popping the balloon, only to entrap tourists and demand cash. As tourists take their pictures in front of the cathedral, these clowns act quickly to nonconsensually photobomb and aggressively demand money. Many just ask for a slight compensation for their “work” while others demand a price as high as 30€. While many unhappily pay this price, some may bravely refuse, only to be followed and harassed until a clown finds its next victim. 

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona, like many other bustling cities, is a hotbed for scammers. Pickpocketing has become commonplace; however, tourists are unprepared for other forms of stealing. The ‘Cathedral Clowns’ are just one of the many scams that tourists need to be wary of, particularly when visiting the Cathedral. It’s crucial to stay vigilant and not fall prey to these deceptive tactics. If you see one approaching, immediately lower your camera, do not respond, and walk away. If you have coulrophobia, it may be best to avoid the Cathedral and do not get clowned.

Man poses with Cathedral Clown
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